October 13, 2002 - Philadelphia Inquirer : Dan Wofford in Race for Pennsylvania 6th District

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 10 October 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: October 13, 2002 - Philadelphia Inquirer : Dan Wofford in Race for Pennsylvania 6th District

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-41.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 1:15 pm: Edit Post

Dan Wofford in Race for Pennsylvania 6th District

Read and comment on this story from the Philadelphia Inquirer on Dan Wofford, son of former Pennsylvania Senator and Peace Corps Giant Harris Wofford, in a race for the Pennsylvania 6th Congressional seat. Although he is not an RPCV, he grew up in Ethiopea where his father was the first Country Director. He has been involved with Peace Corps issues including the Gaddi Vasquez nomination and the new Peace Corps legislation before Congress. Read the story at:

Sixth District candidates clash in debate*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Sixth District candidates clash in debate

By Nancy Petersen

Inquirer Staff Writer

The first face-to-face meeting between the two candidates running in the Sixth Congressional District revealed deep philosophical differences on the issues and ways of resolving them.

Debating for an hour yesterday in Malvern before a crowd of about 150 members of the AARP, Republican James Gerlach and Democrat Dan Wofford spoke to the concerns of this group of voters - Social Security, a prescription drug benefit under Medicare, and economic security.

Their answers usually broke along party lines, with Gerlach leaning toward private-sector solutions, while Wofford favored a more aggressive role for government.

But both men said they supported the President and Congress when it came to the issue of Iraq, favoring attempts at a diplomatic resolution first, with war as a last resort.

"If military action is necessary to protect the lives of Americans, that will have to be done," Gerlach said. Wofford agreed with him. "The risks of not acting in the end can be greater than acting," he said.

Gerlach, 47, a resident of Upper Uwchlan Township in Chester County, is a state senator representing the 44th District. He is campaigning on his 12-year legislative record and his attention to constituent service.

Wofford, also 47, said taking that record to Washington would only perpetuate the status quo.

"I'm going to bring real experience that comes from solving problems and working on common-sense solutions," he said.

Wofford, who is on a leave of absence from his post as executive director of the Philadelphia Fund's College Access program, points to a long career in community and public service, including a stint as education policy adviser to the late Gov. Robert P. Casey. He and his family live in Charlestown Township, Chester County.

The two men, both lawyers, are competing to represent a sprawling district that stretches from Lower Merion to Reading, and from Kutztown to Coatesville. Half the registered voters are Republicans, 39 percent are Democrats, and the rest are independents. If the district had existed during the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore likely would have won it.

Both men said they would protect Social Security and resist attempts to privatize the program, but Wofford said that if Gerlach is elected, he would come under intense pressure to hew to the party line.

"Your party was for privatization as currently as a month ago," said Wofford to Gerlach. "How will you oppose your party on this issue?"

To increase health-care coverage, Gerlach said, he would support dollar-for-dollar tax deductions for medical savings accounts for low-income workers. He said problems with comprehensive health coverage for seniors can be resolved through more competition among insurers and streamlining Medicare reimbursement procedures.

"The Medicare bureaucracy is not working," Gerlach said. "We need to provide more choices." He said private insurers such as HMOs are pulling out because it takes too long for them to be reimbursed for services.

Wofford criticized Gerlach for supporting HMOs, which he said are not living up to their responsibilities.

"I don't think apologizing for HMOs pulling out and leaving people stranded when they are making profits is defensible," he said.

Gerlach said he supports a measure now before the U.S. Senate that would provide prescription drug benefits under Medicare through the private sector, as long as Pennsylvania's PACE program is not penalized.

Wofford, calling this issue one of the district's paramount concerns, said that measure doesn't go far enough in terms of guaranteeing low copayments and no deductibles. "Vested interests are fighting this," he said.

Sparks flew a few times during the debate, with Gerlach calling a tax-reform proposal backed by the Casey administration in 1989 "stupid" and Wofford taking Gerlach to task for sending out the first piece of negative campaign material. Gerlach said afterward that the mailer came from the national Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and he had nothing to do with it.

After listening to the two men exchange views for an hour, Dorothy Andersson, 72, of Berwyn, said that neither of them had earned her vote.

"I thought it was very informative," she said. "But I came in neutral and I still am."
Contact Nancy Petersen at 610-701-7602 or npetersen@phillynews.com.

Click on a link below for more stories on PCOL

Top Stories and Discussion on PCOL
Peace Corps Volunteers Safe in Ivory CoastA Profile of Gaddi Vasquez
Sargent Shriver and the Politics of Life911:  A Different America
USA Freedom Corps - "paved with good intentions"PCV hostage rescued from terrorists
GAO reports on Volunteer Safety and SecurityPeace Corps out of Russia?
Help the New Peace Corps Bill pass CongressUSA Freedom Cops TIPS Program

Top Stories and Discussion on PCOL
Senior Staff Appointments at Peace Corps HeadquartersFor the Peace Corps Fallen
Senator Dodd holds Hearings on New Peace Corps LegislationThe Debate over the Peace Corps Fund
Why the Peace Corps needs a Fourth GoalThe Peace Corps 40th plus one
The Case for Peace Corps IndependenceThe Controversy over Lariam
The Peace Corps and Homeland SecurityDirector Vasquez meets with RPCVs
RPCV Congressmen support Peace Corps' autonomyPeace Corps Expansion:  The Numbers Game?
When should the Peace Corps return to Afghanistan?Peace Corps Cartoons

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ethiopia; Politics



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.